Harry Reid Unloads on Ted Cruz: ‘He’s a Laughingstock’

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was apparently holding back a lot of his criticism of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) during the 16-day partial shutdown of the U.S. government.

Harry Reid Unloads on Cruz: Hes a Laughingstock

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Texas Republican colleague Ted Cruz is a “laughingstock.” (Getty Images)

But now that the government has been reopened and a potentially disastrous default avoided, it seems Reid is feeling free to sound off on his colleague whom many say is responsible for the shutdown.

Republicans have been “hurt irreparably” by the “defund Obamacare” gambit, an attempt to tie President Barack Obama’s health care law to a bill to keep the government funded, Reid told the Huffington Post in an interview Thursday.

The majority leader said that in his 30 years in Congress, he’s never seen a freshman senator inject himself into the House’s affairs quite like Cruz did.

“Ted Cruz, well, he proved he has a great fundraising operation,” Reid said. “But you don’t have to have Harry Reid criticizing him. Republicans criticized him. What do you think that vote was last night from Republicans?”

Harry Reid Unloads on Ted Cruz: ‘He’s a Laughingstock’ | TheBlaze.com.

Rick Santelli: If Not For Tea Party, U.S. Would Be Rated BBB

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Obama’s Upside Down Press Conference

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It’s a Tea Party downgrade? Oh Really Mr President!

President Barack Obama made two fundamental mistakes today in his press conference which was intended to calm the markets. First, he did not lead off with a moment of reflection on the loss of American military lives in Afghanistan over the weekend. Second, he completely missed the boat on why Standard & Poor’s (S&P) lowered the credit rating of the United States.

The President should have led off his press conference with prayers and condolences for the families of the 30 members of the U.S. military who lost their lives in Afghanistan over the weekend. Instead, the President waited until the end of his statement to recognize the ultimate sacrifice of these heroic Americans. The lives of the men and women of the armed forces should not ever be relegated to “one last thing,” and doing so shows a lack of common sense and compassion on the part of the President:

One last thing: there is no one who embodies the qualities I mentioned more than the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, and this weekend we lost 30 of them when their helicopter crashed during a mission in Afghanistan. Their loss is a stark reminder of the risks that our men and women in uniform take every single day on behalf of their country. Day after day, night after night, they carry out missions like this in the face of enemy fire and grave danger.

Instead of condolences, the President began with the claim that S&P downgraded the United States from an AAA credit rating to AA+ because of political infighting over the debt ceiling:

On Friday, we learned that the United States received a downgrade by one of the credit rating agencies. Not so much because they doubt our ability to pay our debt if we make good decisions, but because after witnessing a month of wrangling over raising the debt ceiling, they doubted our political system’s ability to act.

However, S&P’s overview stated clearly that the plan attached to the debt ceiling increase is insufficient to stabilize America’s long-term debt problem:

The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.

The President seemed to blame “gridlock” on the part of others, but you can’t have gridlock without two parties that are unwilling to negotiate. The President demanded tax increases as one condition of increasing the debt ceiling, and he further demanded that the size of the increase be more than $2 trillion.

The President failed to release his own plan, yet he continues to claim that there are some “good” ideas in other plans without specifying the nature of these ideas.

Republicans and Democrats on the bipartisan fiscal commission that I set up put forth good proposals. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate’s Gang of Six came up with some good proposals. [House Speaker] John Boehner and I came up with some good proposals when we came close to agreeing on a grand bargain.

The President needs to admit that he is part of the problem. Obamanomics, the ugly child of Keynesian economics, has been an abysmal failure. At a time when credit ratings agencies want to see austerity programs, the President continued the call for more spending.

We should also help companies that want to repair our roads and bridges and airports, so that thousands of construction workers that have been without a job for the past few years can get a paycheck again—that will also help to spur economic growth.

Dumping another $1 trillion into the economy for make-work jobs will not create long-term jobs, will not magically create consumer demand, and will make the debt problem worse. The demotion of the United States’ credit rating is not an opportunity to push for more spending.


Breaking: S&P downgrades U.S. to AA+

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We told you so !!!

With a “negative outlook” to boot.

America is now a risky investment.

U.S. Treasuries, once undisputedly seen as the safest investment in the world, are now rated lower than bonds issued by countries such as the UK, Germany, France or Canada.

The outlook on the new U.S. credit rating is negative, S&P said in a statement, a sign that another downgrade is possible in the next 12 to 18 months.

See the last few updates in the other thread for details on this afternoon’s drama between S&P and the White House. Supposedly the agency admitted privately that it goofed in using the wrong debt-to-GDP baseline — a $2 trillion error. But when you’re $14 trillion in the hole and set to add $6 trillion more by the end of the decade, what’s $2 trillion, really? A deadbeat’s a deadbeat.

Odds of that negative outlook turning into a further downgrade if the Super Committee chokes: High. Stand by for updates.

Update: A grumpy White House points to S&P’s math error and calls it “amateur hour.”

Update: Zero Hedge has the text of S&P’s statement. The debt-ceiling deal wasn’t good enough:

We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade…

The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year’s wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently. Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability…

When comparing the U.S. to sovereigns with ‘AAA’ long-term ratings that we view as relevant peers–Canada, France, Germany, and the U.K.–we also observe, based on our base case scenarios for each, that the trajectory of the U.S.’s net public debt is diverging from the others. Including the U.S., we estimate that these five sovereigns will have net general government debt to GDP ratios this year ranging from 34% (Canada) to 80% (the U.K.), with the U.S. debt burden at 74%. By 2015, we project that their net public debt to GDP ratios will range between 30% (lowest, Canada) and 83% (highest, France), with the U.S. debt burden at 79%. However, in contrast with the U.S., we project that the net public debt burdens of these other sovereigns will begin to decline, either before or by 2015.

Not only can’t the Super Committee fail, it’ll be under enormous public pressure to reach a grand bargain. That’s the silver lining in this cloud — they have to get serious now. They have no choice.

H/T Hotair

John Kerry — Media should not be giving equal time to Tea Party

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Footage of Mass Troop Movements Across U.S. – What Are They Getting Ready For?

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The following report was originally published at The Intel Hub

Editor’s Note: We’ve long reported about the training of US military personnel for domestic deployment in the event of large scale economic breakdown, civil unrest, terrorism, and catastrophic natural disasters like asteroids. It is clear based on historical precedent that the government would hold off as long as possible before alerting the American people of an impending disaster or emergency. We strongly believe that if an ‘event’ was imminent, details and clues would emerge through alternative news reports across the internet – most of which would trickle in from user comments, forum postings, video uploads, and independent research groups like The Intel Hub. Most, if not all, of that information would be ignored and/or discredited by mainstream media, especially if the government knew of such an event and expected pandemonium and hysteria as a result. Nonetheless, it has been our mission to report on the out-of-the-ordinary occurrences in the world in the hopes of alerting our readers to fan hitting scenarios. Non-traditional news reporting may be the only preemptive warning system we have. While we urge readers not to panic, we suggest, as always, to be aware of what’s going on around you and consider the possibilities – and to plan accordingly.

In the last month and a half, The Intel Hub has received hundreds of credible tips from citizens who witnessed and or photographed domestic military/foreign movements within The United States.

While some of the reports can be written off as normal troop movements, the sheer amount of reports indicates something possibly more sinister.

To top it off, a large majority of military vehicles that have been spotted were not painted for desert conditions, rather they were sporting digital and city camouflage.

We now have reports and video evidence of multiple military convoys traveling in and around Portland Oregon.

This comes just days after The Intel Hub released photos sent to them by a concerned citizen that showed a military convoy of tanks, humvees, and jeeps, in the same type of camouflage and a week after multiple sightings of black helicopters throughout The United States.

Clyde Lewis, a veteran radio host, has had multiple callers report military movements seen in both Portland and Oregon City, Oregon.

Note: All footage of military vehicles inside the United States was taken on public roadways by numerous people not affiliated with The Intel Hub.

For more info go to The Intel Hub

Fiscal Conservatives Barred from Supercommittee Created by Debt Ceiling Legislation

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Well here’s the first thing we can see wrong with the “Super Congress”

The debt ceiling deal will pass the Senate early this afternoon. No suspense there. But the vote will be worth watching for another reason: Three Republican Senate sources tell TWS that senators who vote against the deal will be ineligible to serve on the so-called “supercommittee” for deficit reduction that the legislation creates.

While there’s certain logic to such a policy, it could be self-defeating. Excluding those who vote against the debt deal will ensure that some of the most fiscally conservative members of the Senate Republican caucus, including most of its freshmen, will be reading about the committee’s activities in the newspaper rather than guiding its decisions. Among those who have already declared their opposition to the deal: libertarian-leaning senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul; Jim DeMint, the aggressive fiscal hawk from South Carolina; conservative reformers Ron Johnson from Wisconsin and Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania; the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, Jeff Sessions; and Florida’s Marco Rubio, already one of the highest-profile conservatives in Congress.

More worrisome for conservatives, however, is that private whip counts in the Senate found that some 20 Republicans expressed support for the proposals that came out of the Gang of Six. And while many of the components of that plan have merit as individual policy proposals, the package involves compromises on taxes anathema to most conservatives. Picking a Gang of Six member – or supporter – would further antagonize conservatives skeptical of the debt ceiling deal.

There’s the problem. If, say, a dozen of the strongest fiscal conservatives vote against the deal, the pool of Republicans that can be expected to hold the line on taxes shrinks very quickly. And if a key Republican objective for the committee is to block tax increases, the exclusion of these strong fiscal conservatives makes meeting that goal more difficult.

Mitch McConnell, who will make the selections, isn’t worried. He told Fox News Channel’s Neil Cavuto yesterday that the likelihood of tax hikes coming out of the committee is “pretty low.”

“What I can pretty certainly say to the American people, the chances of any kind of tax increase passing with this, with the appointees of John Boehner and I, are going to put in there are pretty low,” said McConnell. He added: “I’m comfortable we aren’t going to raise taxes coming out of this joint committee.”

UPDATE: McConnell spokesman Don Stewart says all senators will be considered. (Time will tell) “No one is stronger in his opposition to tax hikes than Sen. McConnell. He will have serious discussions with all those who are interested in serving prior to making any appointments.”

Weekly Standard

I might add:….

In addition, the Obama administration has already indicated that it will take the deciding vote as the de facto 13th member of the Super Congress. During his press briefing yesterday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the government would work with the Super Congress to hike taxes in 2012 and beyond.

As the Huffington Post reported last month, the debt deal that has already been passed by the House and faces the Senate tomorrow will create an unconstitutional “Super Congress” that will be comprised of six Republicans and six Democrats and granted “extraordinary new powers” to quickly force legislation through both chambers.

Legislation decided on by the Super Congress would be immune from amendment and lawmakers would only be able to register an up or down vote, eliminating the ability to filibuster. The Speaker of the House would effectively lose the power to prevent unpopular bills from making it to the House floor.

But far from just being a committee that would make recommendations concerning the debt ceiling, the body is now to be granted “even greater super powers, according to multiple news reports and congressional aides with knowledge of the plan,” writes Michael McAuliff.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled no punches in making it plain that the Super Congress would have supreme authority. “The joint committee — there are no constraints,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “They (the Super Congress) can look at any program we have in government, any program. … It has the ability to look at everything.”

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